Auburn Hills-based BorgWarner has partnered with Houghton’s Michigan Technological University and four other industry organizations on a project aimed at reducing energy consumption through the expansion of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication.
The 27-month project was awarded nearly $2 million by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and was slated to kick off in October. It is one of 55 projects that was awarded federal funding in support of the department’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge, which will seek strategy on storage technology, use, and exports.
The project will use a combination of simulated, closed-track, and real-world fleet testing on vehicles ranging from light- to heavy-duty that are powered by different propulsion systems and equipped with varied levels of connectivity and driving automation to develop, assess, and demonstrate energy optimization opportunities through connected intersections, arterial corridors, and highways.
“We have collaborated successfully with Michigan Tech in various capacities throughout the years and believe this joint effort will have a significant impact on energy optimization in the future,” says Frédéric Lissalde, president and CEO of BorgWarner. “As a global leader in propulsion systems, we are looking forward to utilizing our engineering expertise to test, simulate, and analyze how we can use connectivity to impact our various propulsion systems in order to help the industry achieve substantial efficiency improvements.”
BorgWarner plans to work on propulsion system modeling for vehicles and development of the control system architecture to support analysis work for energy reduction. While a lot of the project will be done remotely, BorgWarner expects to assist with vehicle testing and demonstrations at the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti Township. The company will target efficiency improvements to its transmission and engine sub-system components through connectivity enhancement.
“Being able to leverage BorgWarner’s propulsion know-how is critical to the success of this project,” says Darrell Robinette, assistant professor of Michigan Tech. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the team we’ve built and are excited to further strengthen our relationships with BorgWarner and our other participating partners.”
Traffic Technology Solutions in Oregon, AVL Powertrain Engineering, an Austrian company with locations in Bloomfield Hills, Plymouth, and Ann Arbor, and Navistar in Illinois will also participate in the project.